The Casual Suit

January 25th, 2016

The beauty of an unstructured suit in a seasonal cloth; it’s becomes a go-to garment that instantly expands your wardrobe.

Personally, I love wearing suits in non-business environments, for a number of reasons. 1) It’s easy; the top matches the bottom, just pick a layer in between. 2) It’s flattering; bespoke suits are cut to literally to make the wearer’s physique look more attractive. 3) It’s functional; I’ve become accustomed to the convenience of jacket pockets. 4) Everybody loves a gentleman.

With that said, here’s some easy ways to take your tailoring to the casual side.

    Cashmere Crewneck

    CasualSuits (5 of 9)

    The navy flannel suit is an office staple, of course, but with a trim-but-not-skinny fit it’s also the perfect garment for a date or a night out.

    Leave the shirt and tie at work, after dark reach for a cashmere crewneck and a pair of sleek chukka boots.

    CasualSuits (6 of 9)

    Flannel & Denim

    CasualSuits (1 of 9)

    Not all button-down shirts are dress shirts; meant for ties. Flannels, denims, corduroys…these are casual shirts.

    Pairing one (open collared) with a flannel suit and a suede boot is as smart as a casual look gets. If it’s cold outside, complete the look with a scarf and/or overcoat – both are investment pieces that you can also wear to the office, of course.

    CasualSuits (4 of 9)

    Weekend Donegal

    CasualSuits (8 of 9)

    This look is a little old west inspired; perfect for handling the LA “Winter”. A band collar shirt, a linen cardigan, a tailored tweed suit, a pair of roughed-up leather boots, and a vintage felt hat.

    Again, it all starts with the suit here. Once you’ve decided on something like the forest tweed 2-piece, putting the other pieces together is straight-forward and virtually fool proof.

    A suit that fits properly in a versatile fabric takes 80% of the guess work out of getting dressed. That’s the main reason I wear suits so often – aside from the other “social benefits”.

    CasualSuits (9 of 9)

    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • TO

      Late to the party- there’s a lot that could be said/felt like mentioning in the comment thread below but it pretty much sorted itself out as I read on.

      That photo with the shades in the first look is a classic Alex shot, but the shades are looking extra fresh and unexpected! Good mix as always…

    • AdamE

      Agreed 100%, just like I occasionally browse menswear magazines (I know their content is 100% advertorial…)… I’m not looking for specific pieces, I have a brain can decide what to wear…. I am looking for ideas and inspiration that I can incorporate into my personal style… That could mean I order pieces from AOS, or it could mean I get them elsewhere… But I come here, because they put together interesting pieces, and I agree with the messages of quality over quantity and that fit has to come first…

      The one thing I will say is that I miss some of Wes’ features, displaying his killer thrifting skills… I think we’re overdue for a thrifting piece… (or even a garment doctor piece around vintage/thrifted clothing… like things to look for and things that should be deal-breakers…)

    • TheSartorialBully

      Absolutely agree with you here Tommy. This is a menswear blog that displays others styles & for Dan this is his baby so we see how he evolves in style. Now that the tailoring shop is up he is only displaying and pushing the message of what he has believes in if anybody has payed attention from the start of this website lol. Just like you I am not “Bamboozled” but I definitely have made a purchase from the shop because I believe in supporting what you believe in and as an individual that creates menswear as well I definitely support the quality over quantity logic. Overall I just take the knowledge I learn on here and other avenues and work with what I have in my closet to evolve myself.

    • Ethan W.

      Love the first shot of the “Flannel & Denim” look! It really shows off the fit of the pants, which are immaculately tailored! Great job!

    • Dean

      The rub here is that to do what Dan is doing requires a really good suit. If someone tries this with something like a pinstripe or a plain dark navy, the look could come off as “trying too hard” or “I picked up what I could find at my girlfriend’s place”. For what it is worth, unless you are trying to wring extra mileage out of your clothing budget I think a tweed jacket and cords would probably do the same job.

    • OD

      Well, in the beginning, Dan mentioned a suit is “functional” because of the pockets. However, a suit is restrictive and many other jackets (e.g. denim/trucker jacket) has equal or more number of pockets than a suit. Furthermore, travelling with a suit/suit jacket/blazer on has many disadvantages such as wrinkling. Even the pockets in a suit are not secured with button as in a denim/field jacket. I understand that Dan and Co. is trying to promote the idea of “stay tailored” but the comfort level of the wearer might be compromised. You can still look sharp in other types of jackets…
      I am reading Dan’s blog since 2010 and I really liked when he played around with many different kinds of outfits. However, recently, I feel he is trying to force feed the idea of tailoring and the motivation behind that is business. I still read every editorials that come out maybe out of habit but I really wish Dan brings back his passion for style which is unadulterated by a business propaganda.

      • AdamE

        While I agree with some of the points that you make, I disagree about incorporating tailoring into off duty looks…
        I almost always travel wearing a blazer if not a suit… The trick is picking the right fabric that handles wrinkles well, or resists them well.
        A proper fitting suit, from good material is typically less restrictive than wearing jeans (except for maybe very lightweight denim), especially with an unstructured jacket…
        If you really needed all of the pockets, you should travel wearing cargo pants. But frankly, I try to minimize my use of pockets when traveling, since it’s more stuff to empty out clearing security… There’s also something to be said for being presentable while traveling…
        I think they nailed the looks as a good balance between dressed up and dressed down… (casual but not too casual). While certainly it’s not for everyone, I love mixing in some tailored elements into casual looks.

      • AFH

        I generally wear a blazer whilst travelling – I actually have a blazer with inside zip pockets; it would be nice to see more of that.

        Ultimately yes, Dan et al are very committed to featuring their collection – I don’t really blame them, and perhaps they will offer a wider range of items in future collections. Are they wearing out the goodwill generated from previous phases of the website? Probably a bit.

        Not sure about that Hollywood Flannel suit.The denim shirt with the side-adjuster trousers looks odd, but the suit generally just looks a touch too bright for its own good. Not going to be a flattering look for many methinks.

      • A.H.

        I certainly see your points. Also being a reader from the BlogSpot days. However, I can also say that with growth sometimes direction may change. With that change hopefully will bring great inspiration for the future. Possibly new clothing streams that feature the very everyday pieces you mention. In turn, bringing the very editorials you wish for. To great things for the future!

      • JoeFromTexas

        An ill fitting jacket of any sort will probably be restrictive – while a well fitting jacket, whether a sports coat/leather bomber/trucker/ etc. will not be. Same with trousers, I have a pair of flannel trousers that are like wearing pajamas in public – only more presentable. It’s not my experience that a suit or sports coat (or tailored clothing) is more restrictive or less comfortable than other clothing. And I think there are a lot of benefits to wearing comfortable, tailored clothing while traveling (though I get that that was just an example).

        While I don’t think not wearing a suit equals not-well-put-together, I think it’s definitely true that wearing well fitting, tailored clothing does look put together, in formal, business or casual settings. But I take your point that most of the recent features are featuring tailored pieces and previous iterations of AOS had a more varying lineup of styles (and people) featured. The site has certainly changed over the years. But I don’t see how something like this could not evolve. And if you’re going to put food on the table, you either push advertising/products of others, or you incorporate your own products and/or branding. As Bobby D once said, you gotta serve somebody – might as well be yourself.

        • tommyjohn_45

          Spot on, Joe.